Written by Marius Von Mayenburg
Directed by Melissa Cantwell
Featuring Benj D’Addario, Brendan Ewing, Geoff Kelso and Gemma Ward
Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre
March 22 - April 9, 2011
|Geoff Kelso (l) and Benj D'Addario|
The Ugly One is the first of German playwright Marius Von Mayenburg’s work to be staged in Perth, though like his Eldorado and Moving Target, it has had success in other capitals.
On the strength of this elegant, economic production directed by Melissa Cantwell in the Studio Underground at the new State Theatre Centre, it’s easy to see why.
It’s a beautiful production to look at (and not for the obvious, somewhat over-publicised reason you may be thinking of) and the cast deal effectively with the challenges Von Mayenberg’s text throws them: Benj D'Addario tracks Lette’s descent from solid citizen to outcast to degenerate with clarity while Geoff Kelso, a very funny man right in his element here, and the provocative Brendan Ewing both inject just the right amount of over-the-toppery to keep things from getting too Germanic.
It’s impossible to ignore Gemma Ward's international celebrity as a beauty, but while this perhaps adds an unintended extra layer to Von Mayenburg’s text, it does it no harm.
The Ugly One is a flying start for the Perth Theatre Company in a space that is likely to be more important for WA theatre than its grander sibling upstairs.
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian